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February 02, 1996 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-02-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



SCION 01/a

♦• • •


••


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Jewish relationship is by bring-
ing the communities together to
work on common-goal, political-
ly oriented projects.
"Sitting down and talking isn't
going to accomplish much," Ms.
Mahaffey said. "The question is,
how do we get together and or-
ganize and mobilize?"
What may have put a glitch in
the relationship is the Million
Man March. Months after last
October's march in Washington,
D.C., some of the Jewish audi-
ence members continue to look
for answers to why so many
African-American males follow
someone like Louis Farrakhan,
who spews hateful messages.

♦♦

Michael Dula

Michael Sharp

Ora

Dean Smith

••• •
•• •

Si-aceq

♦••


•••
•••
••• •
•• •

•• •

114111 PIIKESSIOtifilc

Julie flpfelblaf

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JENNIFER FINER STAFF WRITER

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Makeup bq Uiendq Whi+elaw

♦••


Generational Views
I pi gniko
On Racism, Anti-Semitism

ti411. Tallt11(14Ni

lied-her Win+erhoff

Susan Bagoff

"Jews have to
accept the good and
the not-so-good."

♦*♦

—Judge Helene White

11111SSIG1 T1 L

Maureen Davidson

- Jane 'Andrews

♦♦

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22

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t, ith just a few excep-
tions, Jews sat on one
side of the room and
blacks on the other last
Thursday in the Jewish Com-
munity Center's Shiffman Hall
in West Bloomfield.
Perhaps what set the Jan. 25
dialogue apart was the repre-
sentation of generational views
on racism and anti-Semitism.
Panelists ranged from high-
school students to baby boomers
and slightly older, and the ages
of audience members spanned
teens through seniors.
"Our goal was to get people
talking and give the younger
generation a sense of the histo-
ry shared by blacks and Jews,"
said Eileen Polk, program coor-
dinator of the JCC's adult and
family enrichment department.
"It was interesting to see that
older people perceived racism
and anti-Semitism as problem-
atic while the younger people
didn't acknowledge those prob-
lems among themselves."
The program, called "Building
Bridges to Understanding Jew-
ish African American Relations,"
was sponsored by the Jewish

-

Above: Dr. Arthur
Johnson

Right: Judge Helene
White

Community Cen-
ter and funded
by a JCC grant
for intergenera-
tional program-
ming. Panel
participant in-
cluded Dr.
Arthur Johnson,
former executive director of
the NAACP; Maryann Mahaf-
fey, president of the Detroit City
Council; Judge Helene White
of the Michigan Court of Ap-
peals; Gail Gales, Southfield-
Lathrup High School teacher;
and students Sarah Chopp of
Southfield and Garr McCrim-
mon of Detroit.
While much of the talk focused
on the root of the problem — and
whether in fact there is a prob-
lem — Ms. Mahaffey suggested
the best way to rebuild the black-

"Jews have to accept the good
and the not-so-good and get on
with it," said Judge White. "Yet
the African-American commu-
nity should understand where
Jews are coming from."
With some of the most candid
comments of the evening, Dr.
Johnson said the issue of anti-
Semitism is
pressed too hard
by members of
the Jewish com-
munity.
Many African-
American audi-
ence members
echoed Dr. John-
son's sentiments,
saying the issues
are more black-
white as opposed
to black-Jewish.
"When I look
at a white per-
son who hap-
pens to be
Jewish, I don't
see a white Jew-
ish person; I see a white person,"
said one young audience mem-
ber.
Ms. Gales said, based on her
school experience, that there is
no anti-Semitism among the
black segment of her student
population. She speculated that
any problems with anti-Semi-
tism start once teens are out of
school.
"I wonder what happens to
students in the real world," she
said. ❑

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